This week, two members of the Florida delegation in the U.S. House—Republican Brian Mast and Democrat Stephanie Murphy—teamed up to unveil a bill to help Israel defend itself.
On Tuesday, Murphy brought out the “Deterring and Defeating Rocket and Missile Threats to Israel Act” with Mast as a cosponsor. The bill would allow additional funds outside the current $500 million a year to Israel to defend itself against missile attacks. Murphy and Mast both noted that their would show the current $500 million a year is not a ceiling and the U.S. could send additional funds under exceptional circumstances. Back in 2016, the U.S. and Israel entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) indicating the U.S. would send more funds to Israel if needed for missile defense but Murphy’s bill would codify the agreement into law.
Both Murphy and Mast made the case for the bill on Tuesday.
“When I traveled to Israel last summer, I experienced firsthand how truly special the U.S.-Israeli relationship is and gained a clear understanding of the threats Israel faces on multiple fronts,” said Murphy. “The United States has an unbreakable bond with Israel, built on shared values and shared interests. We must stand strong against those who threaten the security of our two nations. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill with Congressman Mast to not only deter conflict and preserve peace, but to also ensure Israel prevails if its adversaries choose war.”
“Following my time in the Army, I chose to volunteer alongside the Israeli Defense Forces because our countries share the common ideals of freedom, democracy and mutual respect for all people,” said Mast. “There is undoubtedly a mutual benefit to the security of our nations in collaborating on missile defense. This bipartisan legislation makes a strong statement that we will always work with Israel to promote peace and global security.”
Murphy’s office noted terrorist group Hezbollah already has more than 100,000 rockets and pointed to other threats in the region including Hamas, Iran and the Assad regime in Syria.
The bill was sent to the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees on Tuesday. So far, there is no companion bill over in the Senate.